Sunday, December 14, 2008

一中街 / Yi Chong Street

Taichung's Yi Chong (or I Chong, how do you Romanize it?) Street is very popular with students, young people and wives who want their husbands to go someplace other than establishments providing frosty, adult beverages. It is actually one or two main streets with many alleys feeding off of it and gazillions of people feeding themselves and the vendors. Action is busiest on the weekends and holidays and that is when my wife told me that we were going. We were looking for Christmas gifts. We found none. I'm sure there are things there I would buy - 90% of my students' accessories come from there or the Feng Jia area. However, this was truly a 人山人海 situation (people mountain people sea: huge crowds of people). Final score: Other people - 0, Me - 4. I got four sets of matchboxes with classic themes: Elvis, Bruce Lee, Clint Eastwood, old Chinese adverts and Chinese Huangmei opera films.

I also met these guys. College students giving out hugs. Their goal was 10,000. Get a hug and sign your name. I got one from each of the seven pictured but don't know if that counts for seven or just one, me. Anyhoo, they were very nice and spoke English very well and confidently. That was a nice experience.

My continuing quest for good dumplings was not as nice though. I tried the first soup dumpling stand that I came upon. 5 dumplings for $20 NT. Dumplings, yes, Well, you get what you pay for, so I tried a different stand nearby selling the same amount for $25 NT.

Me: Do your soup dumplings have any soup in them?

Unhappy Girl Helper: ( Nothing is said. Just looks at me like a tree full of owls.)

Me: Excuse me. Do your dumplings have soup in them?

UGH: ( Still nothing said but her expression changes to one of disgust and amazement at my stupidity - dismazement. She then slowly points to each character on the sign indicating that this is a soup dumpling stand, nodding her head slowly at each character, hoping round-eye can understand and order or go away. I'm gonna send the Hug Squad over here and order her a double.)

Me: I know this is a soup dumpling stand, that's why I'm here. But I just came from that one there and there was no soup in his dumplings. What about yours?

UGH: ..........Boss!

Boss: What's the problem!

Me: No problem. I just want to know if your dumplings have soup in them. That's all.

Boss: What do you mean? Of course! You want them or not? ( Hug Squad, where are you?)

Me: Yeah. And give me a spoon, please.

Boss: What do you need a spoon for?

Me: Uh...nothing, I guess.

I guessed right. Nothing. After carefully making a little hole in each of the dumplings to let the soup drain into the clear plastic bag, that is what I ended up with. Not even one drop. Well, I'm going to pay a little more and go back to the soup-friendly dumpling places I know of


Sandy said...

Nice nice nice:)

Happy December!

Jerry said...

Again still waiting for that e-mail

P.I.M.P said...

Thanks IJ.
Has anyone heard from Greg yet?